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How Im selling R at GSK Andy Nicholls (GSK). Outline My background / Industry background What Ive done to promote the use of R Has it worked? The future…

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Presentation on theme: "How Im selling R at GSK Andy Nicholls (GSK). Outline My background / Industry background What Ive done to promote the use of R Has it worked? The future…"— Presentation transcript:

1 How Im selling R at GSK Andy Nicholls (GSK)

2 Outline My background / Industry background What Ive done to promote the use of R Has it worked? The future…

3 My Background Graduated from university with degrees in Maths and in Medical Statistics –Used R for some basic statistics and linear modelling for undergraduate degree –Further R & S training in postgraduate degree –Simulation project using R for postgraduate dissertation Joined GSK as a Statistician in 2007 Told by anyone I spoke to in the industry that R is generally NOT used and that I should focus on SAS!!!

4 Why I have to fight to use R in my industry Pharmaceutical Industry traditionally uses SAS –SAS (generally) thought to be the only software that regulators will accept (not true) –Statistical Analysis Plans written with SAS in mind, sometimes even containing example SAS code –Industry is not very progressive statistically Same methods and therefore the same SAS code –The expertise is generally in SAS However, like me most new graduates entering the industry now have experience of R (or S)

5 How can I get people using R in my team/company? 1. Look for advantages over alternative software (i.e. SAS) –R graphics (arguably) look better than SAS –Lattice graphics in R

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8 How can I get people using R in my team/company? 1. Look for advantages over alternative software (i.e. SAS) –R graphics (arguably) look better than SAS –Lattice graphics in R 2. Seek to use R for any non-standard work – Study teams are easily impressed by new and different analyses and/or graphics so I used R for any non-standard work Simulation Highly customised graphics

9 Simulated outcomes of an Interim Analysis

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13 Results of the Primary and Subgroup Analysis on Endpoint at Week X Acknowledgements for George Zannoupas for starting this work

14 Encouraging others Training courses –Encouraged attendance of Basic R Scripting Course* –Set up an Advanced Scripting course to push people forward to the next level –(Both run by Mango) Poster Presentation at annual company conference Provide support for others –Put my name out as a user and encourage others to ask me programming questions Presentation on R graphics at PSI Meeting on graphics * - Acknowledgements for Mark Jones and Rich Pugh for arranging the first of these

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17 Has any of this worked? When I joined GSK in October 2007, there had not been any form of formal training in R In 2009 we ran 3 Basic training courses globally and 4 Advanced courses –Over 120 employees attended these courses –In the UK, more employees took the advanced course than any other course we offered in 2009 I am now regularly asked for help from colleagues who are either using R themselves and have got stuck, or want me to produce something for them using R –So maybe people are actually using it too!

18 The Future Further training planned for * PSI also now running their first training course later in the year / early next year* Im going to keep plugging it in any way I can! And most importantly… Students continue to leave university with a strong grounding in the basics of R * Mango providing training

19 Recap Situation: Pharmaceutical Industry very aligned towards using SAS How Ive been selling R: Looked for advantages over alternative software (i.e. SAS) Sought to use R for any non-standard work Organised training courses Submitted a poster and gave a presentation at annual conference Provided support for colleagues The future: More courses planned for (internally and externally) Graduates continue to leave university with skills in R

20 References 1. Bland, Martin J. and Altman, Douglas G., 1986: Statistical Methods for Assessing Agreement Between Two Methods of Clinical Measurement. The Lancet, 327 (8476) pp. 307–310

21 Questions?


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